Skip to main content

Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

See other formats


48                           BYZANTINE CHURCHES                        CHAP.
Sultan's displeasure he was long refused permission to be baptized. Only when the young man lay at the point of death, in 1417, a victim to the plague raging in the city,, was the rite administered, his schoolmate and friend acting as sponsor.
A tombstone from the cemetery of the monastery is built into the Turkish wall at the north-eastern corner of the church. It bears an epitaph to the following effect :c In the month of September of the year 13873 fell asleep the servant of God, Dionysius the Russian^ on the sixth day of the month.' The patrician Bonus, who defended the city against the Avars in 627, while the Emperor Heraclius was absent dealing with the Persians, was buried at the Studion.1
On the festival of the Decapitation of S. John the Baptist, the emperor attended service at the Studion in great state. Early in the morning the members of the senate assembled therefore at the monastery, while dignitaries of an inferior rank took their place outside the gate (Narli Kapou) in the city walls below the monastery, and at the pier at the foot of the steep path that descends from that gate to the shore of the Sea of Marmora, all awaiting the arrival of the imperial barge from the Great Palace. Both sides of the path were lined by monks of the House, holding lighted tapers, and as soon as the emperor disembarked, the officials at the pier and the crowd of monks5 with the abbot at their head, swinging his silver censer of fragrant smoke, led the way up to the gate.' There a halt was made for the magistri, patricians, and omphikialioi (o/6$/a<Xm) to do homage to the sovereign and join the procession, and then the long train wended its way through the open grounds attached to the monastery (Si,a rov egaepov), and through covered passages ($t,a r&v efcelfre Sca/San/c&v)^ until it reached the southeastern end of the narthex (elcrep^ovrai, $t,a rov rrpos avaro\iicr)v Se^oO fjuepov? rov vdpd^ico^). Before the entrance at that point, the emperor put on richly embroidered robes, lighted tapers, and then followed the clergy into the church, to take his
1 Pasch, Chron, pp. 726-27.
* 2 Mr. Pantchenlco of the Russian Institute at Constantinople has found evidence that cloisters stood along- the east and south sides of the great cistern to the south-west of the church.